I could be anywhere.
But every patter of the rain takes me back to Mumbai
in a pitter of a second.
No city in the world has romanced the rains like Bombay. For four months every year, this fast, efficient, no-excuses city transforms into a carnival of chaos.
And as it tries to shield itself from its annual rendezvous with nature, a different Bombay comes to life every monsoon - A Bombay which works around the little inconveniences and celebrates the little joys.
There are people who have seen the Bombay rains only once and have never forgotten the feeling. There are people who have lived in Bombay all their lives, and still get surprised every July.
And one of these people happens to be our latest designer, Chithkala Ramesh who has designed ‘Pitter Patter’ for Taxi Fabric.
Speaking of her design, Chithkala says,’In the fast pace life of Bombay where nothing stops for anything, everything comes to a complete abrupt stop for a second when it comes in contact with the famous "Bombay Rains". A city which is completely diverse and contrasting in both its people and culture comes under one umbrella. This non-stop lifestyle of Bombay is what led to my concept.’
Chitkala credits her formative years in design school with shaping her design style and sensibility. Working with a multi-disciplinary design firm helped her apply design to solve a range of problems with caveats of deadlines and gridlines. While acknowledging the value of this experience, she also felt the need to push herself further.
She says,’ Though I had a lot of creative freedom it came with rigid constraints and narrow deadlines. This led to monotony creeping into my work and made every work I created look similar. To break out of this monotony I started working on projects that weren't work related where I could express my creativity freely.’
Chithkala feels that design in India still has a long way to go, with lack of visibility for native talent and adds, ‘India's greatest strength is in system design. But right now design has become fashionable. Designers are struggling to slowly move the conversation beyond the thrill of this new found glamour.’
She is optimistic but patient about design entering the mainstream of Indian consciousness. She says, ‘Access to the internet and a new environment of blogging and social media are helping young designers in India to make invisible value of design visible. Design is being used as a powerful tool for social change, to make a difference and to benefit society in some way these days.’
Speaking about setting the right environment and inspiration for upcoming designers Chithkala stresses on the need for grass root development of the design ecosystem,’ In the present Indian scenario we refer to inspiration or the need for inspiration after the designer has made up her/his mind to be in this field and has been working at it for a while. Inspiration should be taken from the earliest stage of education so every student grows up with design thinking. ‘
She sees the Taxi Fabric Project as a unique medium for communicating through art and says, ’It provides the opportunity to not only be original but interact with the people who actually use this. I could hear the unfiltered first hand experiences of the people who use this. They are providing avenues for young designers to create a social change through art.’
While describing her experience of working with the Taxi Fabric Project Team she says, ’One of the most amazing aspects to this experience was that my designs were exactly how I imagined them to be without being changed by the people involved repeatedly.’
To that we say - It is the Bombay Rains, Chithkala, we wouldn’t change them for anything.